Places in Spain that inspired famous poets

Spain, birthplace of great writers, is full of places that inspired the most popular poets who were born in their lands. The landscapes, the fields or the sea that are the protagonists of their verses do exist and we show you where to find them.

Granada

Granada tops the list of destinations that inspired poets. Federico García Lorca does not forget his hometown to which he dedicates words such as: Granada está indefensa ante la gente; pues ante los halagos nada ni nadie tiene manera de defenderse” // “Granada is defenceless before the people; because against flattery nothing or no one can defend itself”.

But he is not the only one, Antonio Machado states categorically: Todas las ciudades tienen su encanto, Granada el suyo y el de todas las demás” // “All cities have their charm. Granada has its own, and that of all the others”.

For Lope de Vega, Granada is also a paradise on earth. “No sé si llamé cielo a esta tierra que piso, si esto de abajo es el paraíso ¿Qué será la Alhambra, cielo?” // “I do not know what to call this land upon which I stand. If what is beneath my feet is paradise, then what is the Alhambra? Heaven?”.

Cuenca

Cuenca, a city declared by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, hides great charms. So many that it has become one of those places that inspired renowned poets. But I will not be the one to describe it, the great Camilo José Cela found the right words for it:

“Cuenca abstracta, pura, de color de plata, de gentiles piedras, hecha de hallazgos y de olvidos -como el mismo amor-, cubista y medieval, elegante, desgarrada, fiera, tiernísima como una loba parida, colgada y abierta. Cuenca, luminosa, alada, airada, serena y enloquecida, infinita, igual, obsesionante, hidalga; vieja Cuenca.

“Abstract Cuenca, pure, of silver colour, of gentle stones, made of discoveries and oversights –with the same affection–, cubist and medieval, elegant, bold, fierce, as tender as a pregnant wolf, hanging and open; Cuenca, luminous, winged, aired, serene and crazy, infinite, equal, obsessive, noble; old Cuenca.

Córdoba

Córdoba is also among the destinations that inspire poets. One of the greatest poets of the Golden Age, Luis de Góngora, was born in this land. The poet dedicated a sonnet to his city:

“¡Oh fértil llano, oh sierras levantadas, que privilegia el cielo y dora el día! ¡Oh siempre gloriosa patria mía, tanto por plumas cuanto por espadas! Si entre aquellas ruinas y despojos que enriquecen Genil y Dauro baña tu memoria no fue alimento mío, nunca merezcan mis ausentes ojos ver tu muro, tus torres y tu río, tu llano y sierra, ¡oh patria, oh flor de España!”

“Oh, fertile plain, oh, high sierras, gracing the heavens, gilding the day! Oh, my homeland, forever winning glory, as much for its quills as for its swords! If among those ruins and remains that Genil enriches, Darro bathes,
thoughts of you are not my nourishment; then never let my absent eyes deserve to see your walls, your river and your towers, your plain and hills, my land, oh flower of Spain!”

 

Nor did Federico García Lorca ignore the beauty of Córdoba. He dedicated La canción del jinete (Song of the Rider) to it:

“Córdoba. Lejana y sola. Jaca negra, luna grande, y aceitunas en mi alforja. Aunque sepa los caminos yo nunca llegaré a Córdoba.

Por el llano, por el viento, jaca negra, luna roja. La muerte me está mirando desde las torres de Córdoba.

¡Ay qué camino tan largo! ¡Ay mi jaca valerosa!
¡Ay que la muerte me espera, antes de llegar a Córdoba!

Córdoba. Lejana y sola.”

“Córdoba. Far away, and lonely. Black pony, full moon, olives against my saddle. Though I know all the roadways I will never get to Córdoba.

Through the plain, through the wind, black pony, red moon. Death is looking at me from the towers of Córdoba.

Oh, how long the road is! Oh, my brave pony!
Oh, death is waiting for me, before I get to Córdoba!

Córdoba. Far away, and lonely.”

Soria

Soria is for many the great unknown, but it did not go unnoticed for poets like Antonio Machado. Among the poems of Campos de Castilla he dedicates one to the fields of Soria:

“Es la tierra de Soria árida y fría. 
Por las colinas y las sierras calvas, verdes pradillos, cerros cenicientos, la primavera pasa dejando entre las hierbas olorosas sus diminutas margaritas blancas.
La tierra no revive, el campo sueña.
Al empezar abril está nevada la espalda del Moncayo; el caminante lleva en su bufanda envueltos cuello y boca, y los pastores pasan cubiertos con sus luengas capas.”

“Soria’s earth is dry and cold. 
Among the hills and bare sierras, green meadows, ashen slopes, spring comes scattering small white daisies over the fragrant grasses.
The earth’s not alive, the land dreams.
At the start of April, snow covers Moncayo’s shoulder: the traveller winds a scarf round neck and throat, and shepherds pass wrapped up in their long capes.”

Aragón

Aragón is another of the destinations that inspire Spanish poets. In this case it was Miguel Hernández, who was captivated by the beauty of the River Ebro. He dedicates this poem to it:

“Surco infinito. Camino de venas que entre alamedas vas seguro y opaco. No te preocupa el tiempo, como el tiempo siempre eres distinto y de tan igual eterno.”

“Endless furrow. A path of veins that runs through poplar groves, safe and opaque. You do not worry about time, as time is always different and so eternal.”

Belmonte

Belmonte witnessed the birth of Fray Luis de León. The most important poet of the second stage of the Spanish Renaissance dedicated these verses to this town:

“Sierra que en el cielo Altísimo y que gozas de sosiego que no conoce el suelo, adonde el vulgo ciego ama el morir, ardiendo en vivo fuego.

Recíbeme en tu cumbre, recíbeme, que huyo perseguido la herrada muchedumbre, el trabajar perdido, la falsa paz, el mal no merecido.”

“Sierra that in the highest heaven and that you enjoy peace that does not know the ground, where the blind people love to die, burning in living fire.

Welcome me to your summit, welcome me, who fled in pursuit of the shoddy crowd, the lost work, the false peace, the undeserved evil.”

Galicia

To talk about Galicia and poetry is to talk about Rosalía de Castro, originally from Santiago de Compostela. The poet dedicated a large part of her poems to admiring the land where she was born. Among all of them we rescue these verses:

“Miña terra, miña terra, terra donde m’eu criei, hortiña que quero tanto, figueiriñas que prantei. Mi tierra, mi tierra, donde me crie. Huerta que quiero tanto, higueras que planté.

Hay en las riberas verdes, hay en las risueñas playas y en los abruptos acantilados de nuestro inmenso mar, unas hadas de extraño nombre, de encantos conocidos, que solo con nosotros comparten su placido descanso.”

“Miña terra, miña terra, terra donde m’eu criei, hortiña que quero tanto, figueiriñas que prantei. Land of mine, land of mine, land where I was raised. Orchard that I love so, fig trees that I planted.

There are, on the green banks, on the happy beaches and on the steep cliffs of our immense sea, fairies with strange names, with known charms, who share their peaceful rest only with us.”

 


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